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Al-Maliki Assures that An Imminent US-Iraq Security Deal Harmless to Iran
    2008-06-09 10:16:40     CRIENGLISH.com

 Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has sought to ease Iranian fears over a proposed US-Iraq security deal, saying his government would not allow Iraq to become a launching pad for an attack on Iran.

Al-Maliki offered the assurance during talks with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, stressing that Iraq should become an independent and sovereign state.

"An Iraqi person can be free and honored once their country is independent, in its real meaning, and in all aspects."

He reassured the Iranian officials that the security pact, which Washington and Baghdad hope to finish by mid-summer, would not be a danger to Iran.

Ahmadinejad, in turn, underlined that Iran had a key role in Iraq's security.

Al-Maliki's government has always been an ally of Tehran. But the US accusations of Iranian help to Shiite militiamen have strained those ties.

And the tensions have also grown amid the negotiations over the security deal, which aims to establish a long-term security arrangement between Washington and Baghdad.

Iran fiercely opposes the US-Iraqi security agreement, saying it will lead to permanent American bases on its doorstep in Iraq.




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